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DONEGAL TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT v. CROSBY (03/24/55)

March 24, 1955

DONEGAL TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT
v.
CROSBY, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 94, April T., 1954, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Butler County, June T., 1949, No. 96, in case of School District of Donegal Township v. Pearl Boehmer Crosby. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Luther C. Braham, with him Darrell L. Gregg and Galbreath, Braham & Gregg, for appellant.

Harry K. McNamee, with him James E. Marshall, John H. Marshall and Marshall, Marshall & McNamee, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Woodside and Ervin, JJ. (ross, J., absent).

Author: Woodside

[ 178 Pa. Super. Page 31]

OPINION BY WOODSIDE, J.

This is an appeal from judgment non obstante veredicto in favor of the plaintiff after verdict for the defendant in an action of ejectment. It involves title to a plot of ground formerly used for school purposes.

There is no serious dispute over the following facts: In 1884 John Pontius was the owner of a 195 acre farm in Donegal Township, Butler County. By a will,

[ 178 Pa. Super. Page 32]

    dated July 22, 1884 and probated as his last will and testament shortly after his death on January 22, 1892, he devised to his son, George Pontius, 85 acres of his farm upon condition that George would pay three legacies.

Subsequent to the date of John's will but prior to his death, probably in 1889 or 1890, the plaintiff school district came into possession of a one acre plot out of the 85 acre farm devised by John to George, built a school building thereon and continued to use it for school purposes until 1945. Thereafter the school was closed, and the pupils transported to another building at another location. On August 28, 1948 the school board decided to sell the plot. Prior to the sale, however, defendant took possession of the land and padlocked the building claiming that the plot belonged to her. This action in ejectment was then brought against her by the school district.

She claims title as the sole surviving heir of Ida J. Boehmer who died intestate May 6, 1946, and who, prior to her death, had received a general warranty deed dated October 21, 1935 from George Pontius and wife for the 85 acre farm, included within the description of which was the one acre school plot.

The case was tried before, when the defendant contended that in 1894 George Pontius orally gave permission to the school district to use the plot in question for "so long as they were needed for a school and when they no longer needed such land for a ...


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